Weekly Diary


June was still away: I imagined her as a sailing ship on a distant ocean and myself as a dinghy close to its home port – in reality we are just packets of potato crisps in a mixed selection bag (hopefully neither of us are salt and vinegar). It was too hot to mime to sea shanties in the garden so I worked as a stand-in for Virgil in Dante’s Inferno in the morning and as a rock thrown into the sea by Polyphemus in the afternoon – as written in the script I missed the ship but started a coral reef still visible from space. I met June holding a flame in the Namib desert and we cooled down in hot wax before going out for a meal with people recently emerged from suitcases in their hall. We all clung to the cool marble as a hot tongue licked off the remaining reliefs from the friezes on the Parthenon.


June got up on holiday and then after an electronic interruption had to get dressed for work. I put my arm above the trenches and got shot in the hand with flower petals. After a reincarnation of the Piltdown Man had knocked on the door with matching belt and braces I examined the marks made by tiny men with helicopters landing on their heads – I was tempted to keep one inside in lieu of a fan as the sauce pan afternoon had started to boil over. June got home late but still in time to see the rabbit bend a length of wrought iron into a supreme example of Celtic art – I reciprocated by whittling a matchstick into the shape of the Madonna and Child. I had to wait for the evening to change its shirt before taking the dog out with a pattern of Anglo Saxon field boundaries on my chest.


I left June making the shadow of a plunging sailfish on the hall floor and took a bale of straw coloured straw to the burnt at the edges countryside, stopping off to get a bag of green ears for the green heads I am making. I met the Old and New Pretenders pulling memories from their beards; I compared them with my own – although I pulled these from a plain brown paper bag which I had scribbled over as a child (I didn’t know at the time butt the scribbles would be the cast members of my first play; performed in the hall of a hilltop house very near the coiled spring coast). After a spell of trimming the fine hairs on the left leg of a Nordic Giantess I came home on the upper surface of a Frisbee; eventually being caught by the dog at the town crier portal of our front gate.


June and I crossed shadows like duelists at a false dawn before she trudged to work and I fed soft words to the animals. I watered the space gypsy campsite which was randomly set up in the middle of our paper handkerchief lawn (surrounded by paper doily borders and second hand clothes rail trees) and then threw the silver gauntlet into the shrubbery. I worked in the far away closeness of my studio, occasionally watching sunshine sprites dance on an inspiration splattered carpet. Outside a large stone head had slipped to a very strange angle, its partly closed eye now making a fish frantically emerging from the placid lake when seen over the plastic chair I had earlier been sitting on. June came in immediately after this looking like a bouquet of dead flowers belatedly found on a doorstep.


June went to work in the company of Kubla Khan (or possibly a person from Porlock) while I walked Poppy early to avoid the tube train heat; typically we got off at the wrong station. Like a stone age artist I worked naked, painting pictures of caves on the sides of running animals. After lunch I became the sorcerer in the remotest cavern and would have cast my first spell if the candle hadn’t gone out. I painted like a petrol lawnmower until June returned home to find me with pencils instead of fingers and a sheet of paper on my brow; I called the resulting works sweat paintings although the lady down the road wanted to replace sweat with perspiration – she stopped when I threatened to replace paintings with an assemblage of steel girders in the shape of a surfacing nuclear submarine.


June left the house even earlier than usual to prepare breakfast for a flock of electromagnetic starlings – like tired speech they appear lost but really aren’t. In an instinctive response to this thought I imagined a scene of a film I am yet to make with a giant horse wheeled into an old village church and the souls of departed villagers rushing out to open the gate for the army outside – the person playing me manages to escape, pursuing a bear off the stage. I was thinking up the next scene when June came home – unfortunately before the dog had got round to hoovering the living room and I had barked at the postman. I then had to wrestle ants for grains of sugar and read the local news from the surface of an asteroid orbiting midway between Mars and Jupiter.


June and I got out of the lifeboat which had been cast off in the middle of the ocean very early for a weekend and I crossfire watered the vegetation before we went out to a fairy tale castle to eat; both having the ruins of Pompeii on a plate before the restaurant turned into a vegetable marrow and I came home with only half the shopping (the other half having turned into mice with long spindly legs which reminded me of artificial eyelashes escaping from a Thirties film star’s face). June had turned her own High Street face to the sun like a radio telescope seeking a tan while I walked the interstellar pathway homewards with the quantum mechanical vacuum for a head: passing a wolf playing the bagpipes to a flock of sheep and a choir of children fidgeting their way through a grown up song.


About Gerald Shepherd

Gerald Shepherd is a painter, graphic artist, sculptor, digital/multimedia artist, photographer, writer, curator and arts administrator. He has also been involved with science art, performance art, conceptual art, installations and environments (as well as peripheral creative pursuits such as garden design).
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2 Responses to Weekly Diary

  1. Brian Hughes says:

    “June went to work in the company of Kubla Khan (or possibly a person from Porlock)”

    Hahaha…you’ve got to watch out for those people from Porlock. They can be very distracting. Especially when you’re trying to write poems.

    • Ha ha, Exactly! Of course, between you and I, it is even worse if you marry one! The one in question is retiring next month so I fear a spate of D.I.Y. jobs looming! The galling thing is I try to be as bad as possible at actually doing them! There is an element of tongue in cheek here I hasten to add – I’m just naturally bad at doing them! Oh well back to my opium induced dream – joking again!!!

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